Environment

Keep America Beautiful: Volunteer to Clean Up Your Neighborhood

With the first day of spring comes the annual Great American Cleanup. Here's how to get involved in your town.


(Images: Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website)

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and it's also the start of the annual effort to make our surroundings more lovely to look at now that all the snow's gone.

The Great American Cleanup, sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, launches on March 20 and continues through the end of May. The national organization has event partners in states and communities across the country who are "boots on the ground" for programs designed to end littering, improve recycling and beautify our communities. You're encouraged to participate in a local cleanup or organize one of your own.

Click here to find a cleanup near you and here for a volunteer guide, social media tip sheet, and easy clean-up ideas.

Many of Pennsylvania's cleanup activities will be coordinated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Groups participating in PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway program, which involves volunteers cleaning roadsides year-round, are also encouraged to take part in the campaign, which runs through May 31.

"Each year communities, volunteer organizations, friends, and co-workers come together for trash cleanup projects that make a tangible difference," DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said.

"I thank the many Pennsylvanians who volunteer and look forward to joining in a cleanup event again this year." Sec. Patrick McDonnell, Pennsylvania DEP

In Pennsylvania, gloves, trash bags, and safety vests for the cleanup campaign will be provided by PennDOT, DEP, and the GLAD Products Company, a national sponsor.

In addition, during "Pick It Up, PA Days," April 13 - May 6, registered Pennsylvania cleanup events have access to reduced or free disposal at participating landfills, through support from the Pennsylvania Waste Industries' Association.

Above, members of Boy Scout Troop 311 in Westmoreland County collected and recycled hundreds of abandoned tires last year.

Below, before-and-after pictures of one of their clean up locations. Click here for more PA Cleanup pictures from 2018.

During last year's cleanup, 108,638 volunteers in Pennsylvania collected over 6.5 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania's roads, trails, river- and creek-banks and shorelines. Over 5,300 events were held, with every county participating.

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